Social Learning Theory

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Social Learning Theory

  • The SLT forms a bridge between traditional behaviourism and the cognitive approach

  • It is concerned with human behaviour

  • Sees people as active manipulators of their environment

  • Believed that our behaviour is the result of an observation of role models

2 Types of role models

  • Live

    • Present in our environment

  • Symbolic

    • Present in the media

  • Models provide patterns of behaviour that can be rapidly learnt through imitation

Key determinants of whether a behaviour is imitated

  • Characteristics of the model

  • Our perceived ability to replicate the behaviour

  • Consequences


  • Refers to the extent to which an individual relates to a model and feels that he/she is similar to that person

    • Must feel that they’re similar enough to them that they would be likely to experience the same outcomes

  • Shutts et al = children are more likely to identify and learn from a model that is

    • Same sex

Vicarious reinforcement

  • When we watch others get rewarded/punished for behaviour. As a result people learn about the likely consequences of an action (when it is appropriate and when it is not)

The role of meditational processes

  • Meditational processes are mental factors which mediate in the learning process and determine…


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